tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 5, 2012 7:00am-9:15am EDT
in washington d.c. continues. we will hear that from executive consultant. >> july 4 is a big opportunity for politicians to campaign and to march in fourth of july parade. mitt romney in new hampshire marching in that fourth of july parade in the town that he has a lake house. lots of volunteers behind him holding up romney signs. takes a lot of volunteers to run a political campaign. we want to ask you this morning if you are going to volunteer for a political campaign? it could be for mitt romney or barack obama or your local
congressman or whatever. we want to hear about your experience and why you are a volunteer. you can see the numbers on your screen. you can also contact us electronically. that picture is from the new york times of mitt romney. this article is from the state journal in charleston, west virginia. it is an associated press story.
volunteering or have in the past. we want to hear about your experience. we have put the phone numbers back on the screen. from the hill newspaper -- >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> everywhere i go, i meet people who represent the best of america. they are hopeful, hard-working, determined, and proud. the is americans are quiet heroes.
raised strong families, run our factories, and grow our food. they coach little league and soccer and serve on the pta. our volunteers, they help our neighbors, and they dream big dreams. the vision, the values, the character, and the can-do spirit that you find in our small towns has made america great. this is the american known for thriving farms and factories, for prosperous towns and cities, great colleges and universities, for a churches, all of them born out of american optimism, nuristan sustained by hard work and a belief that the american future is one of the limitless possibilities as an opportunity and american birthright. there was a time each of us could walk a little taller because we had to give to no one else in the world shared. we were americans.
>> the celebration -- it is a celebration of what we have the opportunity to do every day. >> we showed the world. >> it makes me think about all the people came before me and fought so that i could have freedom. >> the spirit that brought this country together -- >> those days are coming back. that's our destiny. >> there's no other place i would rather live than america. >> now until november, our campaign will carry a simple message. america oppose the greatest days are yet ahead -- america's greatest days are yet ahead. host: that is a new political and by mitt romney. we have some facebook con comments regarding volunteering. brian says --
you can watch that on c-span or listen to it on c-span radio as well. the first call on volunteering for political campaigns comes from christine, a republican in kalamazoo. hi, christine. caller: good morning. i'm calling because i am not a republican, i am a democrat, but i receive campaign calls from democrats and republicans for funding. i don't know where the republicans got my name from. i always contribute to the democratic party, but i constantly get phone calls from the republicans wanting me to send them money. i think it is hilarious. since you were talking about that subject, about people volunteering for a party, everybody wants money or needs money or else they would not.
host: have you send money this year? caller: to the democrats. in small amounts like $50 here and there. excuse me, i am nervous. i send $50 here and there. but they call all the time. everybody does. host: that was christine, a democrat. this is justin in montclair, new jersey, on our independent line. caller: a couple years ago i campaigned democratic and then i campaigned on republican campaigns. now i cannot do it that much because i am trying to make a living. you have to put food on the table and pay bills. i wish -- if it was not so much for that, i would probably volunteer for an independent candidate. host: thanks for calling.
this is also from the hill newspaper this morning. a report -- the president also has a new political commercial on the air. [video clip] >> what a president believes matters. mitt romney's companies were pioneers in outsourcing u.s. jobs to low-wage companies. he supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. president obama believes in insourcing. he has fought to save the u.s. automobile industry and favors tax cuts for companies that bring jobs home. oit matters. >> i am barack obama and i
approve this message. host: the next call comes from jerusalem, israel. a democrat, you are on the air. good morning. caller: shalom. i moved to israel but after the election of 2004. i was a disenfranchised voter in palm beach county in 2000. i have been looking at my absentee ballot that i had to jump through extra hurdles to get because it is new laws in florida. i am volunteering. i have been volunteering for years. i got to meet president obama when he was here. i donate online to his campaign. not a lot. $25 a month. our plan to continue through the end. host: how did you volunteer from israel. caller: we do voter registration
drives. you can register whether you are independent, democratic, or republican. host: there are u.s. citizens in israel? caller: yes. we register the people at big events and we sign them up with a printer and computer and we help them do the paperwork, explain what is needed, and encourage them to vote no matter what party. it is to get them active. we have different sectors in tel aviv and jerusalem. we are sending someone to the democratic convention as well, i believe. host: defined most expatriates' in israel are democrats or republicans? caller: well, israel is funny. this is kind of why i moved to israel. i call c-span in 2004 in november and cried on the air because i came from a large orthodox community in boca raton, florida. if many lifelong democrats
supported george bush because they thought he was so good for israel. i was speaking with the person that leads the pears because i did not understand why he was voting for george bush. his family hosted president clinton in palm beach, or whatever. he said because he is so good for israel. i said i will move to israel, in that case, because he is bad for america. a lot of israelis drank the kool-aid and they were convinced only republicans support israel. i explained that throughout the history of israel it is american policy that supports israel and the president is incidental to that. here it is hard to be an obama supporter. i subject myself to a lot of criticism and venom. i am comfortable in my
positions. i don't get my news from fox news. i read newspapers and watch c- span and the committee hearings and everything. i think i am making an informed decision and i'm really happy about the decision of the supreme court and justice roberts coming over. because i was disillusioned with the supreme court and a lot of things in america. now i'd love with universal health care. it is the best thing. i arrived in this country and had a doctor's appointment within two days and never seemed extremely good care. it's not like boca raton, but they have good doctors here. host: is the yasser arafat being exhumed, is that being played pretty big in the israeli press? caller: not really, but it's in there. we know of it. it is in the news. i was at a wedding last night
with an npr correspondent and she has been discussing that. i don't think anything will come of it. host: how are you watching c- span? caller: i watch regularly over the internet, all the time. i have been since i got here. host: thanks for calling. back to your calls on volunteering for political campaigns. this is roy in marion, north carolina, on our independent line. are you volunteering? caller: not at the moment, but i hope to get rid of -- that mitt romney commercials at the top of the hour, that was the worst political commercial i've ever seen. it said nothing. if it has no respect for the working people like the republicans are. i vote almost exclusively
democratic because there's no choice. the republican party is an illegal, illegitimate party. we should have some kind of labour party. we have no respect for labor. we are 30 years behind the rest of the world in health care. host: we will leave it there. liz smith tweets -- delores, a democrat in portland, oregon. are you volunteering? caller: yes, i volunteer for president obama's grass roots campaign. i make calls. right now, like most other campaigns, we are activating the base, talking to people about how they're going to vote. one thing that hits you right in
the face is the misinformation that is out there about the president. i have talked to people who blame it on people who don't have nothing because that is all this president is for is for poor people and people at the lower end of the echelon. they will tell you that they hate the president and want to get rid of them. but when you follow through and start to patiently question and break it down, they are misinformed. it is misinformation. it is not a matter of [unintelligible] , but i can understand how the massive misinformation campaign is going on, because i even see it happening at c-span. host: we appreciate your
again, that is from roll call. the next call on volunteering for a political campaign comes from kimberly in oak ridge, tennessee, a democrat. caller: hi, thank you. i have been volunteering for the last two months. we do a lot of phone banks in tennessee into the north carolina area. it is a local county effort for
obama. we also work with justin wilkins, the tennessee campaign leader. i have my own little special group called women for obama. we get our yellow books out and white pages and call people in our area because there's a lot of elderly people who feel they have been left out. our grass roots effort is that we are helping the elderly if they cannot get out and come to our headquarters, we take a list of numbers of people to call from the phone book and they said and home and call and talk and engage with people. the elderly people have so much wisdom. they are just wonderful. we don't want them to be left out of this.
also, as an african-american woman, we are canvassing local areas for the young people, getting young black men out to register to vote. a lot of them are not registered. host: kimberly, you said that you are calling from tennessee but calling into north carolina. caller: absolutely, because we want obama to win no. carolina. north carolina does not have enough volunteers. we also call in tennessee, but we know that tennessee is a republican state. chances are the president will not win here, but we do have people in nashville calling into the tennessee area. but in oak ridge we help north carolina very much. host: what do you do professionally when you are not volunteering? caller: i'm a physical therapist. last saturday we did a phone bank and our goal was to reach 2000 and we reached 1511.
we spoke with so many people and the majority of them were north carolina, people voting for obama. we're very happy about our efforts. host: cooper is an independent in louisiana in the town of walker. you are volunteering? sending money. i'm not really a romney supporter, but we have to get rid of these folks that are in there now. if not, it is about 47% of the people don't pay any taxes but yet to get money from the government. before this is over, it might be 87% that don't pay taxes. so i think it's very important to help the romney campaign, although i am not a great fan of romney. host: you are volunteering by sending money? caller: yes.
host: tulsa, oklahoma, a democrat, hi. caller: good morning. i am a campaign organizer for obama, for the democrats. i was just thinking about how long people have worked. i've worked a long time, my grandparents, and i have also faugh worked and paid federal tax dollars. i am encouraging young african americans, young caucasians, anyone to register to vote to save their federal tax dollars that we have paid into that are taken out of our checks. that money belongs to us. we take care of the senators and presidents and their families. it is right for us to stand up and fight for all the things that our forefathers had planned
for and worked for for years. it's not right for them to feel like the government is taking care of us when we also are taking care of them. host: what kind of work do you do for the campaign? caller: i am council organizer. that means i set up meetings and meet with people and get them to join your group. you also set up event and work with the original organizers and you go to the senators offices and collect petitions othat people have signed on to turn different things around with that they want congress and the senators to vote for that represent us. if they're not going to represent us, we need to fire them out of their positions,
because they're not helping the people that need it. i lost my insurance when i had heart failure. by doctors would not sign my insurance papers through my disability that i have paid for out of my hard labor to get mine -- host: we will have to leave it there. we appreciate your call. from "politico" -- and increasingly close race between barack obama and mitt romney. a campaign in which news cycles burn hot and fast and then out in a matter of hours --
is in days between two candidates often described as mirror images of each other. this is from politico. the next call comes from orange, new jersey, beatrice on the republican line. hi. caller: good morning. i volunteer in new jersey. i broke my leg, so now i make calls to elderly people. i have to say something that has been bothering me about c-span. i notice that you have a lot of liberals. i am a conservative, but you don't have them on. chris hayes is coming up from msnbc at. he is very far left. i would like to see a little more representation of the conservative movement. you have a lot of people that are mostly all left-leaning. i don't understand why. c-span is supposed to be non-
partisan. if they are lying about outsourcing, romney was not a head player when bain capital said jobs overseas. so that is a lie. they are lying. romney worked for bain capital, but he did not take taxpayer money. obama is playing with our money. everybody thinks he is so great. he is not. it has nothing to do with race. i am half black myself and it bothers me very much that people put race into it. my last comment is the dnc raised $2.5 million. romney raised $6.5 million on the internet after the obamacare
incident. i would like to see people be more fair and balanced on the phone calls. host: what kind of volunteer work did you do before breaking your leg? we will never know unless she calls back. a couple twitter comments -- seven valley, pennsylvania, and our democratic line, hi, marilyn. caller: good morning. i volunteer for obama. i feel the same way about that later. i feel that the republicans are liars. host: what kind of work are you
doing for the president? caller: i have been on the internet almost a year and a half. i have been calling and writing things on the internet telling people to vote for obama and i think he is our best choice. he is doing everything he can possibly do for this country. i don't understand why people would call up and talk against this man. host: have you met on an individual basis with people? caller: yes, and i also call headquarters to find out what i can do to get this man reelected again because i think he's doing a great job. host: thanks for calling. from the "washington times" --
money because i cannot work. i support romney. none of the republicans were calling, so here i am to balance the scales and to say i do volunteer by sending money, which i think it's a big help. host: how do you send it? i sent it almost as regularly as they send me requests for money. good luck to mitt romney. thanks for taking my call. host: william is a democrat in hallandale, florida. are you volunteering? caller: i sure am, because of
all the misinformation out there. you have to get the word out. i cannot tell you how much it is imperative that the true message get out, with all this stuff about muslims and the is going to be a socialist and he is going through take your medicare, all this stuff is crazy. we are americans. we need to think like americans instead of a harsh political party. host: what kind of volunteer work are you doing? caller: phone banks. i am reaching out to each and every body, republicans, democrats, independents, and nonparty persons. so many people are misinformed. it is just sad. you really want to get the message to them, but they are so stock in wanting to just get rid
of what they don't know is something they are scared of. host: how many hours a week do you dedicate to donate to the obama campaign? caller: i do at least two hours a week, because i am retired. so, with all the stuff i have to do, but i tried to get out and get the word out more so than just being behind the phone. if i tried to educate the people around me to just let them know that obama is not a marxist or socialist or nothing like that. just do your homework, people. host: have you volunteer for campaigns and passed? caller: this is my first time. the reason i am doing it now is
because of the fact that it seems the republicans want to take america, where they plan on taking us, the liberty that they enjoy, getting them to the point where they're going to take it away from everybody. it is a sad situation. it is like we are in a school ground where the big kid wants to take all your money and does not want to help out. host: thank you, william, for calling. steve is an independent in baltimore, maryland, hi. caller: hi, i'm a first-time caller, relatively independent. a lot of my views agree with the republicans and a lot of my views agree with the democrats. i would've been a ron paul supporter, however, i am starting to encourage ron paul
supporters to vote for barack obama. i think barack obama is a better choice for ron paul supporters. the neocons are that conservative. i felt like they spent money and bail out wall street when they had the opportunity. i don't think that is conservative. host: there are still a lot of ron paul blogs 0 web sites that his supporters go too? caller: i was not really one of the website people. we had meetings in my neighborhood for ron paul supporters. i'm really trying to gather up those votes. they laughed at me when i try to encourage them to vote for obama, but i think he is a better choice. host: richmond, michigan, ed, a democrat. caller: good morning.
how's the weather? host: hot. caller: it has been hot here around the great lakes. host: house the rainfall situation? caller: we got some last night and that makes the farmers happy. my comment is about politics. i'm a senior citizen and i have been back to the willie horton days. there's a lot of lying going on. i want to ask you a little trivia. can you name the congressman that went on the floor of the house and passed out tobacco tax to his fellow congressmen? host: i think i remember the incident. caller: he is speaker of the house. he was interviewed about this. one person reported that he was
asked if he just passed out tobacco checks on before the house and he said that he did and that it was legal. of that interview has been shown on television and it should be shown more. host: are you volunteering for a campaign? caller: i am 92. i was down with bill and hillary clinton in texas in 1972. host: that's awesome. what were you doing? caller: i was called back into the korean war. i get hot about politics and finding the truth. romney made five different statements last night and none of them were true and they caught it stand corrected it. host: it was nice to hear from
you from richmond, michigan, a longtime volunteer. tom is a republican in erie, pennsylvania. hi. caller: good morning. i am not volunteering because i have zero time to do any volunteering because of my work hours. all i can do is send the money. i am sending money to obama whenever i can. host: you are calling on the republican line. caller: i have been a republican 42 years. i am a republican. what i've watched go on with the republican party is disgusting. what people need to start thinking about is these misinformation campaigns from the republicans funded by big money. these people funding money into
the republican campaign's they want something for that. we have to step back and look at voter registration laws that are designed primarily to eliminate democratic voters. any party that has to stoop to something like that cannot be trusted. between the misinformation that you hear from them and the crap with the voter registration business, the reporrepublican party cannot be trusted. host: this is from the new york daily news this morning --
inform them about the media and misinformation and how the media plays a significant role when you have different guests on your show, whether it is c-span or the other shows. that is a moral disadvantage for the public. last night you had a guy from the heritage foundation. he said that obama was not legit. it was her responsibility to correct him right there on television. that's how misinformation gets out. when you have a guest that says something that is so does disrespectful, i think you guys need to do that. if it's not about one party or democrat or republican. it's about being respectful to all people. host: that was jane in
this is in "usa today." the last call on political volunteering comes from a democrat in atlanta, terry. hi. caller:i volunteered to help barack obama. host: what kind of volunteer work? caller: basically, making phone calls, passing out materials, getting people informed on the facts. but what i am finding are the same type of comments being made from republicans in the public that have made such statements such as charles grassley of iowa and made the statement about the health care bill, " they are going to have depth panels." that is the biggest ever told.
a republican will tell a lie in 10 seconds. they don't mind. if they told a big lie to lead us into iraq that got 4500 of our finest men and women killed. the public forget so easily. so we are passing out materials and on the phone giving people facts about the president, about the health care bill. you'd be surprised at the amount of republicans, the misinformation that is being given particularly here in georgia for the express purpose of winning the election. it is immoral. host: we appreciate your call. we have three segments coming up now with three different guests. douglas holtz-eakin, who used to be the director of the congressional budget office. we will talk about "the affordable care act when it comes to meditate in the states. and christopher hayes of msnbc has a new book out.
he will be joining us from our new york studio. up next, douglas holtz-eakin. we will be right back. >> we had pulled into their about 9:00 third in the morning and -- >> the former commanding officer of the uss cole on the events surrounding al qaeda's october 2000 attack that left 17 dead and 37 injured but. >> i returned back to my desk and was doing routine paperwork when there was a thunderous explosion at 11:18 in the morning. if you could feel the destroyer thrust up and do the right. ship twisting and flexing. we came back down into the water. the lights went out and ceiling tiles popped out of and everything on my desk lifted up
and slammed back down. i grabbed the underside of my desk until the ship stopped moving. >> more with the former commander sunday at 8:00 on "q&a." >> this weekend, head to the state capitol and named in honor of thomas jefferson in jefferson city, missouri. saturday at noon eastern, literary life on c-span 2. former senator and first lady jean carnahan. and from ancient mesopotamia to the university of missouri's special collections, babylonian clay tablets. sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern. >> in 1967 this was called the bloodiest 47 acres in america. >> a former warden takes you
through the missouri state penitentiary. and walk back through history in the halls of the missouri state capitol and governor's mansion. c-span's local content vehicles explore the history and literary life of cities across america. this weekend from texas and city, saturday and noon and sunday at 5:00 eastern on c-span to antsy spent3 -- on c-span 2 and c-span 3. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is douglas holtz-eakin. we appreciate your being with us. guest: my pleasure. host: we will talk about "the affordable care act and the medicaid aspect in particular. i want to start with today's headlines. the lead story in the washington post -- romney calls the health-insurance mandate a tax.
guest: it is a tax. the supreme court called it a tax. it is collected from americans. that's the bottom line. host: what are your views about "the affordable care act?" guest: i have been troubled by it from its inception. 2008, it was clear the american people wanted health care that's provided low-cost and provided more affordable insurance options. as the bill developed and is now law, there's a consensus, i think, across the inlet de -- across the in the logical spectrum, that it does not control cost. that is the disturbing part of it. there are other aspects which have emerged that threaten private coverage and have employers drop their coverage or alter it so you don't get to
keep what you have. the use of fibillion to pay for medicare. each year there's a gap between payroll taxes and premiums coming in. spending going out of about $300 million. this leads me to worry about the ultimate cost of the bill and the legacy of debt for the next generation. host: you are the president of the american. action form it from your web site, analysis finds the supreme court ruling on medicaid will add hundreds of billions to the cost of affordable care act. -- you are the president of the american action forum. guest: we asked that every state in 2014 had to expand its medica -- medicare program -- medicaid program a.
when the supreme court ruled, it said the requirement was an unconstitutional portion of the state's. as a result, they cannot penalize the states for not doing it. it now became optional. the concern i have is that medicaid is much cheaper than the new insurance if subsidies that "the affordable care act" has. anybody below the poverty line will be eligible for the subsidy. they will have the option to migrate over to the insurance exchanges and get federal subsidies, 100% at taxpayer cost. rather than using medicaid to save money, it will not be available. they will be will to go get insurance somewhere else and it now may cost an additional
couple hundred million dollars. host: do you disagree with that decision by the supreme court? guest: i filed a brief supporting the notion that this was an unconstitutional coercion. had they taken away all the medicare funding, it would have been a tax increase. it was maybe a choice to say no, but it was not a real choice for the states. i did not like that part. an unexpected consequence of the supreme court ruling was it's now more expensive. host: from yesterday -- if for the does not expand its medicaid program, how would that affect somebody along the party line?
they would have to go to the insurance pools? guest: they could go get the insurance exchanges if they are above the poverty line. if they are below, it is complicated. some states cover all children up to the party line and all pregnant mothers, but not all states cover everybody under the poverty line. the first choice is to get a job and get insurance. there will have to be a decision made by the governor's staff on how they will deal with low- income populations. this is a second political aspect. my concern is medicare and medicaid are intertwined heavily. both of those programs. need programs by putting governor's into "the affordable care act," we have seen programs frozen. -- both of these programs need reform. host: what is the solution if
the act is overturned? question that no americans wanted health care reform. that was across the spectrum. i worked for john mccain in 2008. in the primary for the republicans, every cabinet had a health care reform plan. regardless of the political and policy issues, we have to go back to what americans wanted, which is better health care reform. i think of starts with fixing medicare and medicaid. if medicare is a very important pay your of medical services. fee for service, separate silos for hospitals, insurance companies, drugs. health care reform starts with fixing medicare, making it sustainable for the next generation and having better practice in it.
host: douglas holtz-eakin is our first guest and the first call is a group called american he is the leader of a group called american action forum. guest: we talk about what's going on in the policy world every day. host:? is it:? guest: we do energy and environment, regulation, taxes. i would love to move into innovation, technology, space. we would like to do international affairs. host: do you have any association with the romney campaign? guest: i do not. host: wilmington, delaware, our first call. caller: what i think this means for medicaid is that children in
poverty will have a better chance to get health care regardless of how much spare parents make. what's going to happen is medicare will get cut. more money will be put into the kids. youth will have a better chance of sustaining health as they get older so we will have healthier people in the future and we will not have to rely on social security benefits, medicare for our people. so what i think will happen is we will be able to cut our budget over time and have a sustainable future. guest: that would be wonderful. i think we know that we have to cut our budget. we have big problems on the spending side. but we do have to provide for the next generation access to quality health care and high quality education. those are two national imperatives. host:
host: harrisburg, pennsylvania. republican line. caller: i would like mr. holtz- eakin to elaborate a little bit. this is such a great panacea for everything, why did the president give over 1000 exemptions to this law alliance share of those -- and the lion's share of those exemptions are to the people and the unions that donate to the democratic party. a lot of people do not know that. you can get that on the computer. why are these exceptions given out. a lot of people do not know it. i want one, too. guest: it is an enormous piece of legislation, and what
congress wanted to avoid his leap -- is leading it to the administration to fill in the details. they have not finished on time. in the process, waivers were granted for medical plans that otherwise would not pass muster. time will tell what drove the waiver process, but there is little debate that the process has been slow and burdensome. host: this "twilight of the elites -- tweet. mr. holtz-eakin, did not the cost curve for health-care -- was it not said to go down? guest: what does it cost to
provide medical services? the cbo did not see that changing much. it saw a new layer of payments on top of that, insurance subsidies, and additional taxes, but the pace of spending continues to grow. that is the concern. can we get the horse race between income and spending per person to get closer? spending has been winning for decades. healthcare is nearly one out of $5. host: this tweet. guest: that is a good point. you cannot get affordable insurance unless you fix what you are paying for. i do not think people would care if you felt you were getting your money's worth, but there
is discontent with access to service, and despite the fact that we spend so much we do not seem to be better than other countries. host: the next call for douglas holtz-eakin, independent line. georgia. caller: the supreme court stated categorically that this is a tax. where does it say that in the unit -- in the ruling? it says under the taxing powers congress can enforce the mandate as constitutional. i wonder if you could tell me what paragraph, page, or lying the supreme court -- line supreme court stated that it was a tax. guest: i do not have it in front of me, but what the court ruled
was that it was constitutional to tax people that did not buy insurance, and that is within the taxing power of the federal parliament, and that would enter with the irs collecting a tax from people who do not have health insurance, and double in the text if they fail to send it in -- ee but? if they fail to send it in. -- double in the the tax if they fail to send it in. we are now back to the debate, how do we need the test of quality health care reform that gets us better insurance at lower cost? that is a very pitched debate and it will continue. host: the next call for douglas holtz-eakin, american action
form is his group, south carolina. arthur. republican line. caller: good morning, mr. holtz- eakin. i want to comment on the health care. a few items. i would like to introduce myself as -- i am just high-school educated, but i have watched more political shows, house sessions, the senate sessions than any other citizen in this country, and i used to be a book maker, too. being as learned as i am for a high-school graduate, and having watched all of these shows, the few points of record -- the health-care bill, like the man just said, it is a tax cut a massive tax on the middle class, with most people -- massive tax
on the middle class, with most people oblivious. the other thing is they took $500 billion out of the health- care pot to fund this law, and then the people making $120,000 or less are going to be taxed. other than that, i want to make another point about doug elmendorf, who is head of the cbo now, says the first 10 years of the affordable care act is going to put the country $1.9 trillion in debt, not save money. we have been talking billions. i do not think most citizens
realize what $1 trillion it is. guest: the numbers are enormous. the structure of the affordable care act was in the first in years to pay for it with $500 billion in cuts and $500 billion in taxes, and the taxes do not get a lot of attention, but some of them are on things like medical devices, which are likely to harm competitiveness in an international industry, and some are taxes on insurance companies. i think that will feed into premiums. you will see sticker shock of higher premiums and that will come to bear on the middle class. if you are going to have an expansion of this size, it is impossible to do it without everyone paying for it. the notion that a small number can fund the system does not add up. host: i have been calling you
douglas holtz-eakin. guest: that is correct. when people get close, i am happy man. host: ok. franklin, texas. richard. independent line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i'm glad i got through. if our system of health care is so great, why do we spend twice as much as other countries? 27 other countries have affordable care, and two or three of them claim they use the american plan to figure out what not to do. we have an answer, but it is the holy grail. we cannot approach it this way, because you would not get elected. it is called the military industrial complex. you were in the cbo. you know what it really costs. the defense budget is only part of it. we have the veterans
administration, the energy department -- most people do not realize the energy department is responsible for nuclear weapons. we have the state department, and the department of homeland security. it is over $1 trillion. we spend more now on our military. we have 747 military sites from the world. do we need 700? we have a little less than 200 countries in the united nations. why not touch the military? host: we get the point. guest: this is the leading edge of what will be a public debate as we get to january of 2013. there is scheduled to be cuts in the pentagon budget, $45 billion
in non-defense annual spending on education and other programs, and about $50 billion in medicare. you will see debate about the wisdom of those cuts, should the military, nonmilitary. that is the start of an important conversation. anyone who looks of the federal budget understands that federal debt is larger than the size of the economy, over $15 trillion, and the trajectory is something we can not tolerate. there are going to have to be changes. is it going to the military? nonmilitary? who'll take the bulk? the debate is coming. host: chances are the congress will wait until after the election. that is a fair statement? guest: you could lose money betting on congress to get something done.
host: tax reform, preventing tax cuts, putting the budget together, and preventing sequestration is probably after the election. is that ok that we wait until november? guest: i do not think so. there is this fiscal cliff, the expiration of the so-called bush tax cuts, which would be a big tax increase. there is the alternative minimum tax, unemployment insurance benefits, and that debt ceiling increase -- six things jim into a short time, and it is not wise for us to think we can come back from an election and rattle through six innings. the one i am worried most about is the combination of the tax hike and the spending cuts. the cbo says if this happens there will be a recession. i agree. this economy cannot handle that
tax increase. it will happen before january. people in the stock market will say my tax rate goes from 15% to 45%. you will have jitters in the stock market. will not be good for the economy. we would be well served to have republicans and democrats hold hands and say let's expand everything through 2013, and and who ever wins in november, fixed it in the spring of 2013. that would be the best solution. host: when you read the political tea leaves on capitol hill, do you see any of that done before the election? guest: at the moment, i absolutely not. if the economy starts to show more problems, and the last jobs reports have not been very strong, maybe that will be enough of a wake-up call to see action. host: tony tweets in.
guest: it is true that the cbo there are two things you cannot do. you are not allowed to have an opinion, and the cbo directors and doug elmendorf in particular have done a fabulous job of dealing with the congress as m2, and you have to look at things written at face value. -- asked them to, and you have to look at things written at face value. is to the to the affordable care act, you have to assume the five multibillion-dollar gets taken out. often, congress writes budgetary gimmicks into law. you have to take them at face value. that is not a cbo problem. that is a congressional problem. host: will lead editorial in
"the wall street journal ." guest: i do not think the election will turn on that narrow issue. the health-care issue will feed into larger concerns of economic growth. in addition to not creating jobs we have not seen income growth. the most troubling aspect is not just slow job growth. spending income, after taxes and everything else is just not rising. even those who have a job feel pinched. this feeds into that and it will effect the economy. host: dorothy. a republican in california. caller: thank you.
high-end a recipient of affordable health care that has been -- i am a recipient of affordable health care that has been in existence for 2020 -- 20, 25 years. i am so glad the supreme court ruled on affordable health care. we have to let it go through and then work out the bugs. i am incensed by the fact that my board-certified cardiologist gets one-third of the reimbursement that a non- certified md gets a rural medical clinic here. there are so many inequities. by the same token, if this goes through, even as it is now, my daughter who is disabled will be
able to get medical insurance stop-gap and i will be able to get insurance for my great granddaughter, whose parents are not around to ensure here. if so, the republican party is leaving me, i am not leaving the republican party. guest: i think you get the flavor of the debate -- the access for people that are high cost has been a problem in the united states. the importance of health care passed things we think about like medicare and medicaid, but in the military, it is rising fast, putting strain on their core mission. the veterans administration is rising as fast. we have to figure out what we want it moves forward. whether you like it or not, it is here. i think things can be done to
improve it. that is the debate we need to have. the supreme court has ruled. it is time to move on. host: again, leading political tea leaves, we are now three years into the affordable care act, do you see that it could be rescinded or parts could be rescinded? guest: i think inevitably some of it will go away. it is deeply not popular. for two years the polls have not budged. 52% of americans are opposed. there is a minority of 38%, 40%, that strongly supports it, and that divide has not move. as a result, i think you will see problematic provisions but the independent advisory board, both sides of the i'll probably realize that is not put together right. -- that will probably change --
both sides will probably realize that has not been put together right. that will probably change. host: what kind of upset with that made in the system currently with people planning on it? would it be traumatic to the health-care system? guest: the health-care system is traumatized already. let's be honest. among the concerns i have with what we have at the moment his it is supposed to be in place by 2014 but there is no evidence the states can get there by 2014. we will be in a state of flux regardless. it would be good to get in the early. host: wild and wonderful tweets in
guest: this is important. that precedent was there for a long time, but the only difference is the scale. this is such a large ticket items that the court ruled there is a difference between a theoretical choice to say no and the real choice. as i said, this is something the supreme court should look at, but i was not optimistic they would overturn it, and the president is there. that is one of the reasons i thought it must stop -- might stay. host: jim tweets in? guest: it was half of that. my feeling is you probably can not. that is a concern. host: crofton, maryland. democrats lined. nick. caller: hello.
i hope you give me enough time as you gave the guy from south carolina. it is tough to believe there are people like him out there. by more you call a capitalist. ibm said -- i am what you call a capitalist. -60 years old, retired, and there is an old adage, you have to die and you have to pay taxes. if republicans did not have the word tax, they would not have an argument. i'm from anne arundel county in maryland, a republican haven, and all of my buddies and friends talk, anytime the republican uses the word tax in an argument you might as well give it up. there is no getting through to a blockhead. as a capitalist, you have to pay
taxes. it is part of the capitalist system. if i had the but -- but and i could push, i could see show you where. buchanan -- pat buchanan said republicans now -- know that taxes are part of the system, but they're not doing anything. nancy pelosi, they labeled her as a socialist. guys like this guy on television labeled her a socialist. if this label fits on nancy pelosi, the best speaker of the house in the last 50 years, and she did more in her term, cabalists -- taxes are part of the capitalist system. guest: i think we got that point. -- host: i think we got that
point. guest: washington loves to talk about taxes, but it does not talk about spending. once you spend the money, you have to pay for it, so the threshold question is how much are we going to spend, and what are we going to spend it on? having a more deep and more rich conversation about what the federal government is going to do and at what levels is the more important part. we're starting to see that now. it used to be all about taxes. once you spend, we are going to pay for it. host: this is an e-mail from steve . premiums on a 25- year-old will be $3,600 or year -- a year, or the penalty, is that not a forced tax because he
had to buy it? guest: the compulsion to buy is part of the act, and that arithmetic has been a concern to some on the other side of the aisle in that maybe the mandate is not strong enough and people will pay taxes and not by the insurance. there is a lot of debate about that, but nobody knows. we have to see how this plays out and find out the facts. host: tennessee. and, republicans line. caller: we passed obama-care here, and the doctors figured out that they cannot take these patients, so as a result we have all of these came clinics, and people were dr. the shopping, and our hospitals are flooded with drug-addicted babies. people do not realize that the biggest farce is that kathleen
sebelius has people signed up for food stamps, then got everyone on ssi, and in two years these people go on medicare, and obama is taking half of 1 trillion dollars out of medicare, and a middle-class tax paid, every time he gets on the microphone he tells a lie. this will be the biggest tax increase, and middle-class people will be paid in it. guest: tennessee had a reform that turned out to be fiscally unsustainable and they had to cut it back dramatically. it was a difficult experience. i think it was a lesson best at the federal level. you have to watch these massive expansions. if you look at how much medicare pays is about 70 cents on the dollar. medicaid, 56 cents on the dollar. if we keep using these programs to push down reimbursements, you
run the risk that doctors will say i am not going to see those patients. we've seen people concerned, and that is part of the fact that we need to watch closely. host: douglas holtz-eakin, what about the massachusetts program? is it similar? is that something that might suffer the same fate? if guest: massachusetts is interesting. there is a debate about if what happens in massachusetts will happen in the united states, and i do not think so. massachusetts has high health- care spending, 25% above the u.s. and the reform could not change that. that is part of my concern. it does not control costs. the second part of massachusetts only had about 4% uninsured, so they did not have the problem to solve like the u.s. did, so i do not think it is a comparable situation. there are features that are the same, and it has survived so
far, even though it has not done its job. host: it has not cut costs? guest: no. it has gone back to control cost, and that is the same thing we have to do as a nation. host: why is massachusetts higher than the rest of the country by 25%? do you know? guest: it is the classic story of american medicine. we're over-use, ms. hughes, an under-used about -- in some of the finest -- under-use, and miss use of some the finest medical technology in the country. host: do you see a day when the insurance is not tied to the employer? guest: i think that would be a fabulous world. suppose you had an insurance policy you bought a new head for
life and an insurance company could not do -- you had for life, and an insurance company could not do underwriting. that is phenomenal incentives. you would want to buy it when you are young and healthy. we would get better insurance coverage. insurance companies would have real financial incentives to do the kinds of prevention and the kind of techniques but we do not see much of right now because they have you for one year and they cannot invest in you for one year. it would transform american insurance and medicine if we got there. host: lancaster, pennsylvania. but you -- you're on with douglas holtz-eakin. caller: in september 2008, this man said the state of the american economy is sound. two or three days later it collapsed. the the medicare cuts, they
never complete that story. those cuts are in waste, fraud and abuse, and tom coburn says there is $70 billion debt could be cut. that is what they are talking about. the idea that the dividend tax is going to go from 15% to 45% is complete fiction. it is crazy. republicans like all of this time about everything. guest: the dividend tax is the law. the affordable care act as a surtax on investment income that takes almost 45%. there could be a healthy debate about what kind of implication set as on the economy, but that is the fact. on medicare cuts, there is a concern about waste and fraud, and $50 billion is the estimate. that is not what the act does.
it does not get the waste and fraud. it says we're not want to reimburse hospitals as much and we're going to take money out of the medicare advantage plan. host: last call, michigan. sandra. democrats line. caller: -disabled and on social security -- ibm disabled, and i am on social security disability. with this new health care bill, will i lose insurance? guest: know. if you are duly eligible, life should continue as it was. host: do you see, if a lot goes through as it is now, where an employer, or someone with a lot health-care costs gets rid of health-care coverage?
guest: it is a concern to me. you can do the arithmetic, and it is possible for an importer to stop providing health insurance to give his or her employee a raise, which after taxes they could give to their employees the ability to pay subsidies, pay the penalty, and still come out ahead. the logic to that is unassailable. the question is will they do it? it has been a tradition to attract workers, but there is such a big financial incentive for the worker and his boss to agree to do it this way and the only person that picks up the tab is the american taxpayer, and i have been worried about this for a long time. we shall see. every firm and benefits counselor that i talk to is running the numbers, and nobody
wants to be the first guy to do it, but everyone wants to know how to take advantage of it. host: there would be a penalty? guest: there is an individual mandate and an employer mandate. employers above 50 workers have to provide affordable insurance. host: american actions form.org is the website if you would like to see what douglas holtz-eakin is writing about. coming up, christopher hayes has a new book out called "twilight of the elites -- america after meritocracy." that is coming up next. after that we continue our series looking at the foreign news bureaus, and this week, cctv, chinese television will be out here.
up next, christopher hayes, with his new book to take your calls after this news update from c- span radio. host: the labor department releases its weekly update on new claims for unemployment aid today one day ahead of the monthly jobs report. also due out a report on the health of the service sector and to private-sector reports on the job market. the bank of england has backed an injection of 50 billion pounds, 78 billion u.s. dollars into the british economy. the move was widely anticipated and it raises the money -- the amount that is been pumped into the british economy since march 2009. it is the first stimulus since february. britain is in recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
a truck with supplies to native groups has cross from afghanistan into pakistan for the first time in seven months, and truck drivers are getting ready for the same trip. pakistan opened the border to nato ships after the u.s. apologized for an air strike that killed 24 pakistani troops. wikileaks has started publishing e-mail from syrian politicians, government ministries and companies dating back to 2006. the e-mail in a range of languages comes from the ministries of foreign affairs among others. wikileaks, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information has published to the 50,000 confidential u.s. diplomatic cables, and hundreds of thousands of documents related to the conflict in iraq and afghanistan.
some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> the life of a sailor includes screen the deck in the morning, claiming the loft, gun drill practice, but by the end of the day you are ready for some rest. you do not get a full eight- hours -- eight hours of sleep. >> this weekend, the life of an enlisted man during the war of 1812. >> the sailor live in fear of the possibility of being with. the thing a sailor never wanted to see is a petty officer ready for a flogging. >> that is sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. also this beaten, our series on key political figures that ran for president but lost but
changed political history. sunday, former new york governor al smith. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is christopher hayes, who you might know from msnbc, or through his writing at 0: the nation magazine -- "the nation magazine." he is the writer of this new book, "twilight of the elites -- america after meritocracy." was america founded as a meritocracy? guest: the idea of the american dream as being fundamentally rooted in social mobility, and the desire of people to be able to go as far as their talent and drive will take them is
foundational. that is something early observers of the republic wrote about. this is bracketing for a moment slavery, which is a repudiation of that vision, but for white citizens of the republic early on, the idea america had extricated itself from the few times and parents -- inheritance of europe and allowed people to go as far as their talents will take them, that is a foundation, but at the same time there is a vision of a nation that is in the hands of a small group of people who thomas jefferson in a letter to john adams calls the natural aristocracy, the best form of government is the one that selects those that are the best man to rule, which is intentioned with the foundation of democratic promise. so, the word meritocracy and the
social system that we have set up in the last 30 or 40 years to bring about what we call a meritocracy is a new version of an old ideal of the american dream and social mobility. host: you write in your book, "twilight of the elites -- guest: that is precisely a sketch of the social model that we have since the 1960's. the idea behind the meritocracy as we currently have that is we do not have this old, lost, patriarchal, establishment anymore. we are not going to limit entrance into the lead based on
your pedigree or what your family's last name is. rather, we will let people from all backgrounds, religious creeds, genders and racial origin complete from one -- on what we call a level playing field, and they will be funneled through the set of institutions that will select the people that our best to run our pillar institutions, and those people can and should be of different colors, creeds, and backgrounds, but they will definitely be the smartest and the hardest- working, and then they will get massive rewards. what we have seen in this model is the incredible rise of inequality, unlike any we have seen in 100 years, and this is something that has left coverage, but we should be more attuned to reach a decline in social mobility. beyonce of -- a decline in social mobility. besides of starting at the
bottom and working to the top -- the idea of starting at the bottom and working to the top, it is not delivering on that central promise. host: you also write -- writing in, i''m that passage of about the concept of social distance, the difference in a living reality from the people that have made it, ascending through the meritocracy, and those bets have
not, and what you see across the political spectrums is a sense of distance from the people running the country. whether that is bankers or the folks in congress, and this sense that there has done some kind of foundation a breach of trust, a betrayal of a promise. the people on the left and right have different stories about what the betrayal of trust is and who has done the beach rain, but the united -- who has betrayed. the united feeling after this failed decade, which has been disastrous in many respects, is a sense of alienation from the center of power, and a violation of the social contract they thought everyone was adhering to. host: christopher hayes, one final question, why you use the
word "twilight" in your title? guest: the argument is that it will inevitably produce crises because it is creating this social distance and that is a recipe for institutional failure. so, i mean twilight to suggest that we are toward the end of this as the consensus social model. we are nearing a end because i think it is proving itself to produce crisis is reliably, and we are about to enter a new era and it is not clear what that era looks like. i want to initiate what america looks like after meritocracy. host: christopher hayes is our guest. you have seen him on msnbc.
greg. erie, pa., democrats line. caller: christopher, it is wonderful to talk to you. i've been a fan since you started i think you are articulate and can illustrate points readily. how does the rise in productivity and the new technologies that are out there and should be to this one-sided rise of the leads, and my second question is, the money -- of the elites, and my second question is the lead stand we are talking about primarily make money in the financial system, and it is almost as if labor is not needed. in the old days, carnegie- mellon and -- andrew mellon and rockefeller needed labor to
give people some kind of ladder to climb, and it seems today that human labor and even intellectual efforts are going into coming up with these instruments of finance, which seemed to be stealing the seem to be stealing from the other fields of study -- seem to be stealing from the other fields of study. guest: the second point first, finances is one of the most important story. on the eve of the crisis, finance was about 40% of corporate profits, total. that is a staggering figure. when you get near the top of the merit credit paramedics, you
see a tremendous back-and-forth. princeton or harvard are having as many as 30%, 40% of graduates of going out to work on wall street, and this small amount of people have been able to extract value and profit from the economy, and not necessarily in the service of the productive real economy. sometimes when a banking system is functioning well, what it is doing is channeling savings to investment. that is the key role it plays in a capitalist economy. sometimes, when it is functioning poorly, it is taking huge debts and concentrating risk in certain areas that could bring everyone down. i absolutely agree that the growth of finance, the way finance has developed, and tied in with the development of the set of people that are produced through these institutions is one of the greatest challenges
we face and probably the biggest crisis we have in seven years was produced by that. in terms of measures of productivity, it is a great question. one of the things about merit that is interesting is that i think we all agreed that people who work the hardest or are the best should be the ones that are rewarded or should be promoted. we do not want a surgeon licensed handed out by a lottery, but when you are talking about a social meritocracy, it becomes hard to test for merit. it becomes a much more difficult question. . productivity is a good example. measuring -- question. productivity is a good example. measuring productivity is difficult. we have not seeing gains rewarded in games-to-wages. there's been a famous divergence in the the growth of
productivity and what wages are, and that is another example of the distortion of inequality. host: saint joseph, missouri, you're on with christopher hayes parent -- christopher hayes. caller: not only am i conservative, but i am a veteran and i know that to a lefties like you that does not matter much. you always go after the people that create jobs, but you never care about people like george soros will make money by tearing down countries like ours. you do not care about labor unions that use violence and crime to force their way down our throats, and if you do not do what they want, you see what happens. they do not care what they cost the companies or even the public.
they do not care about the taxpayers or whether they can afford anything. it seems like all you'll end of these other protest movements, like the -- you and all of these other protest movements like the bloody occupiers, all you care about is a social good -- socialist country with the government controls everything and dictates everything. host: david, i think we have the point. mr. hayes? guest: i certainly do not want a country where a government controls and dictates everything. that is a terrible way to run a society, and we have seen what that looks like, and i do not think that is a recipe anyone wants to bring about. the caller uses the term socialism. socialism is a term that has been leveled at the president,
and i think it is really important to think about what kind of society, what kind of division that we want, to recognize that there are a lot of different tap listed democracies in the world. you everything from its -- capitalist democracies in the world. if you have everything from south korea, to canada, norway, or brazil. there is a huge different set of institutional arrangements in what a mixed economy and a capitalist economy with a welfare and social safety net looks like, drawing the line between what the market should provide or government should provide. in america, sometimes this conversation is reduced in to the idea that we either do it to the american way, or we have socialism, but the playing field is wide open. we can choose all sorts of different institutional arrangements, some of which
might be worse than what we have, and some of which might be better. i think we should keep ourselves open to looking to different arrangements that are able to produce a society with the flow winds, shared prosperity, less any quality -- of fluids, shared prosperity, and less inequality. i think it is unhealthy to look at that as socialism. host: this tweet . guest: that is a great question. it is true that elites will always exist. every society has them in some form. some are much more corrupt and tyrannical and others. i think those that control the public and private wealth in russian -- roszak are entrenched
in ruinous to that country in a lot of ways. what i am writing about is specific colleges and dysfunctions that our specific system of selecting the he lead -- the elite producers. it produces corrupting incentives. just like we could have different arrangements for how to structure society, how would will be provided, there are different visions of the social model of how much distance varies between people at the top and people at the bottom, -- distance there is between people at the top and people at the bottom, or who should be making decisions. one of the things we have gotten away from is the idea that all of us can self-governed collectively, all of us make decisions, and part of democracy and politics is wrestling to the
conflicts that that intel's. i think the decline it -- that it entails. the decline is a key part of the story that i am telling, i am not -- as i am trying to look at inequality not so much at how it is bad for people like the bottom, but how it produces a lot of this function and crisis for those at the top. the kind of inequality we have mixed those at the tops -- at the top worst. host: "twilight of the elites -- america after meritocracy" is the name of the book. christopher hayes is the author. the next call comes from dallas, texas. jason, independent line. caller: history has shown us, mr. hayes, socialism is dead. true or false, is it good or
bad? next question, it is communist -- communism good, true or false? the next question is, the health of the economy is going down, and democrats continuously dispute that it is fine, we are growing at 2% and that is awesome. how can they defend the president when he is failing at every point? the health care law? if this is a republican or a democrat, whenever you want to call it, and the majority of the people says we do not like it, is this a government for the people? i am young, i am kids, and i'm going to give this health crap to my kids? i hate you. you really suck.
guest: jason is powerfully articulating the sense of the trail i was talking about at the beginning. the town of -- beach rail i was talking about the beginning. the economy is not doing well. there is a strong case about how much worse it could've been and how needed the interventions were, and basically the recovery act was a remarkable piece of legislation in many ways that really did make things appreciably better, but i do not think anyone is happy with the long-term unemployment that we have, the level of gdp growth. what jason is articulating his fear, uncertainty, frustration, and a sense of the trail, about providing for his own family, and i think that is irrational feeling that a lot of people have. -- a rational feeling that a lot of people have. what brought us to this point is
something bigger than the occupant of the white house or one political party. it is an entire vision of how we order society and who should make decisions that led to the crisis, and we are digging out from the crisis that was a huge crisis that destroyed about $8 trillion in wealth, and we need to think about the social model so we do not repeat this. that is different than the question about socialism, communism, barack obama, and obama-care. it is a bigger question about who makes the decisions in wall street, washington, how accountable they are to the rest of us, and that is what the book is about. host: christopher hayes writes in "twilight of the elites" --
schenectady, new york. beth, democrat. caller: it is a plutocracy. i would say my actual genius runs in my family. my mother's iq is higher than einstein, and my high-school lied to me about my queue until i forced -- force them to give them my results. i look of your biography, and i know you were fortunate enough to go to brown, and your boss makes a lot of money. it is folks like yourself who have a lot of money and grow a privilege that gets to run things. you're not trying to get by and $10 an hour, and i do not want to attack youth too much, because i think i'm being mean, but the most intelligent or well-read minds say the same
thing that i did, there is no meritocracy in this country. guest: i agree. that is precisely the point of the book, there are people all over this country from all different stations working all different kinds of jobs, who have not gone to all different kinds of schools who are brilliant, they are geniuses. the system of meritocracy says it selects out those folks and puts them at the top, but i do not think that is the way the system works. my own back from, my father was a union organizer, my mother was an educator in the bronx. i did not growth with wealth, not that that matters one way or the other, but the fact of the matter is you have a system where there is a huge difference, and i want to be clear here, between the decision
that we have, the myths about how the meritocracy functions and the way it actually functions. it produces a lot of the inherited privilege -- of inherited privilege. we know the people that are fortunate enough to go to the schools, the one i was fortunate enough to go to like brown university, the way internships function. we are actually not seem social mobility. we see something more like the plutocracy that was mentioned a. that is the fundamental tension in the country. when people talk about the american dream, meritocracy, rising based on your own abilities, the reality is quite different. there is frustration and anger based on the tension and the difference between what we think we have, what we want to have, and what we actually have tech
host: martin e-mails into you, mr. hayes -- guest: i am in agreement on that. i think we have seen an erosion of what we consider the public sector, and even just the notion of universally provided public goods, that all of us together through the channels of the government provide some basic set of goods, and those are the kind of goods that we all need. things like education, health care, transportation in many cases -- the things that undergird the foundation of the market economy. you need workers to not be made up with constant illness in order to be productive. they need to get from where they
live to where they work to be productive. they need to have a certain set of skills and education in order to be productive. there is a practical argument for us making sure we have these universal productive goods in terms of what kind of work force it produces, and then there is a moral one that i do not think will be appealing to some of your viewers the have a different set of principles and philosophies, but i think we have a moral obligation to look out for each other enough and we have these basic public goods provided. everybody should have a shot at fulfilling -- a fulfilling life, a decent wage, and the ability to provide for their families -- a modicum of comfort in a wealthy society in historical terms, rather than conceding of society as having some pool at the top of good jobs, fulfilling lives, and big paychecks, and everyone else having to fight with each other through this
competitive process to get that small, scarce good. host: republican line, you are on the air. caller: we spent $5.60 trillion last year and regulations and tax systems and inefficiencies or another $2.70 trillion you were talking about $8 trillion at least of government-created costs for one year. 25% of that is wasted. that is $2 trillion which is more than the accumulated wealth of the bottom 50% of the population. why does bernie sanders think it is more important that the top 400 have more assets than the bottom 50% if we are wasting more in one year? guest: the $5.60 trillion is the
number for the budget. waste is a difficult thing to measure. i don't agree empirically that that is the case. the number $5.60 trillion is a massive number which we don't have any capacity to understand what it means. i think it is much better to put these beings in the context of what percentage the federal government is the share of the total economy and it is below 20% right now. hobbit gdp is lower than it was during the bush administration -- the gdp is lower than it was during the bush administration. this story has been told about what we have seen in the wake of a recession is a massive increase in government. i think that is not borne out by facts.
when you are talking about wealth, it is important to recognize that the bottom 30% of people in terms of wealth have zero net dollars of wealth. you have to get above that. 30% of society has no wealth. that strikes me as a problem. there is interesting policies that have been put out talking about asset building and some sort of asset endowment for every citizen. that can then be used later for things like purchasing education, etc. but we have a huge concentration at the top and zero wealth at the bottom and that is problematic. host: from the book --
producing better institutional performance will rest largely on rethinking the social model that we have that has a small set of people with vastly disproportionate power and return to something more democratic and more egalitarian. i think that will produce better institutional performance and better elite decisionmaking. the u.s. has been this way during different periods of time and still is relative to places that are highly dysfunctional or corrupt. you want a virtuous cycle in which institutions perform well with some sense of public interest. their good performance produces trust and that produces better performance but rather than the vicious cycle you see in countries lower on the development scale or mired in corruption in which you have this kind of reinforcing cycle
where it leads to poor institutional performance. people don't trust the tax collector not to hit them up for a broad so they don't pay taxes and the government is starved for retinas and doesn't have any money -- is starved for revenues and doesn't have any money. we need to make a society that is more equal than the one we have now and is more democratic than the one we have now, has more institutional innovation, different ways of thinking about how we cooperate. i think that will ultimately produce the goods institutional performance and reinvigorate people's trust in our institutions. that is the only way to get the level of social change we need. host: new jersey, on our democrats line, you are on. caller: a just want to say i'm a fan of yours.
i want to ask you about education specifically. as a liberal, i am somebody who has come to terms with the liberal positions. education is a tough one. it is one where the unions are getting stuck little bit. students are suffering. you look at the washington, d.c. public school district which has so much money and it does not seem like a democratic solution is solving the problems. your argument about the twilight of the meritocracy and how that may influence education, maybe there is a difference solution. when we say we will not
worry about the quality but we will worry about a level playing field, we put porn more pressure and stress on the educational system -- we put more and more pressure and stress on the educational system. we have huge amounts of inequality and that is transferred through things as basic as inheritances which we no longer tax the way we once did or just the basic idea of vastly different levels of resources, access to social capital, vastly different school systems. we are increasingly asking education to do the work of fixing that, of making sure that it is in harlem or the south bronx or anacostia in washington, d.c. and they have the same opportunity as kids in the suburbs of new york like scarsdale. it is an impossible undertaking.
there is only so much the educational system can do. if we're going to have a serious conversation about what equal opportunity looks like and what it would mean for a kid in harlem or anacostia to have the same shot as a kid in scarsdale, we would have to look at more than the school system. we don't really talk about the other parts right now. in terms of the education system and the unions, there is tremendously spirited and heated debate about educational reform. i spent some time in the book writing about baseball and the steroid scandal and i write about enron a little bit. i'm looking at how this happens. baseball, is in many ways, it real meritocratic undertaking.
you have huge rewards for performance and punishment for failure. one of the lessons from the steroid-year in baseball is that it is much trickier than it looks. to design a system with big reward performances penalties. there is a fine line between performance and cheating. when you have big enough rewards and punishment for failure, you will drive people towards cheating if that is the way they can survive in the system. with so that inside enron where you saw all sorts of fraud. we saw it on wall street during the subprime crisis. there is no distinction between
the bonus for selling a bunch of securities that were actually aaa rating but ones that were called that but would blow up. to get back to your point about education, the reason i think this is an instructive an important point is that right now, we are in the midst of a national cycle in which we are trying to move our model for teachers from a bureaucratic one which is based on things like seniority or tenure, to a meritocrat took one. one. one of the lessons from looking at the steroid scandal and baseball is that women move from one model to another, we should not be surprised if what we see is a lot of cheating. that is something that is worrisome. we have seen reports that are really disconcerting about cheating and that happened in washington, d.c. schools where teachers and principals were
changing scores. there was the amount of changing from wrong to write answers. there is a huge cheating scandal happening right now in atlanta. they want to hit the numbers that me to hit. that is a real question retail about what exactly the new model we are advocate it looks like and what some of the costs of it are. we talk chiefly about the benefits but it does have costs as well. host: here is a tweet -- it seems that people in the top do have a lot of power and there is a tremendous amount critic amount of
entrenchment to change. if you look at the history of the republic, we have been having this ongoing battle in which we are renegotiating the terms of a social contract between the people in charge and the mass of society. we saw that happen under andrew jackson. we saw that happen during a construction. we saw it happen in the gilded age and again in the new deal. we have had periods were concentration of power grow so acute that there is a democratic backlash. we feel the stirrings of that. whether this frustration of people being left out of the social contract has been torn up for they are being betrayed, how that channels into effective political power in a time when elites have a tremendous amount of purchase of our political system. host: last call from lansing,
mich., on her democrats line -- jim? last chance. that's it. chris hayes has been our guest for the last 45 minutes talking about his new book, twilight of the elites." you can also watch him on msnbc. you can also read him in "the nation.' thank you for being on "washington journal." 45 minutes left in the program and coming up, jim laurie joins us to look at how they cover u.s. news out of china. it is part of our week-long series of four new service in the u.s.. the u.s.. >>